How to Talk to the Young White Men Drifting Toward the Alt-Right
By Chris Crass (September 7, 2018)
Talked with a Mom who reached out for support about her teenage son who she sees drifting towards the alt-right.
My heart ached listening to her story. I shared how when I was 15, I was deeply confused, angry and felt alienated. I was trying to figure out who I was and what meaning there was in life. I almost went down a right wing reactionary path. I almost went towards joining a gang. And thankfully I found my people; my anarchist/socialist, let’s make a better world and still have room for our anger and our pain, and build community around social justice values and deep friendship, people
I talked with the Mom about how so many young white men are being spoken directly to by the alt-right, being given a narrative that places that in the world, gives meaning to their lives, and enemies all around them to blame for their pain and anger. We talked about how important it is to connect with her son, not directly so much about the alt-right politics and debate them, but go deep underneath to what the pain, confusion and anger is that is in his heart.
And we talked about ways to connect him with social justice stories and experiences that have young white men in them, young white men finding their passion, their purpose, their place in multiracial, feminist justice movements and communities.
The main thing we talked about is how much she loves her son and how much we need liberation narratives and visions that resonate deeply in the hearts of young white men, that not only repel the poison of the alt-right, but ignites their hearts and souls for their own salvation, healing and purpose, rooted in collective liberation.